The Bihar Post

Litigants spend Rs3 lakh over dispute of Rs10 in Bihar

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PATNA—A long-pending legal dispute over a paltry sum of Rs10 Indian currency note has finally been settled with the intervention of the court. However, by the time the case was disposed off, the warring parties had incurred Rs3 lakh as legal expenses, apart from the loss of time for the court over such a trivial issue.

Court officials said bus passenger Chandan Tiwari, a resident of Aurangabad district, had indulged in fisticuff with the bus conductor Vipin Kumar after being asked to pay Rs10 as the bus fare in 2015. The passenger had objected to the conductor’s demand saying it was “too much” and refused to pay the fare.

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The conductor later registered a case with the local Barun police station and the matter reached the court. Since then the case had been pending in the local Aurangabad court. The case failed to reach a logical conclusion despite 400 days of hearing as this had primarily become a “matter of prestige” for both sides.

The seven-year-old case finally was finally settled over the weekend with the mutual consent of warring parties after the additional district judge Pranav Shankar personally intervened. Eventually, both sides signed the compromise letter and returned to their homes with smiles on their faces.

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“The case wasted seven years of the court since as many as 400 dates were fixed to hear the case. We are happy that it has been settled after court’s intervention,” lawyer Rajesh Kumar said.

The pendency of cases in courts remains a matter of serious concern in Bihar. Last year, Supreme Court judge DY Chandrachud, also SC’s e-committee chairman, had informed how a trial at Motihari court in Bihar’s East Champaran district had been pending for 50 years while 1,004 sessions cases in the state pending for more than 30 years.

“The oldest case was registered on February 19, 1971 in Motihari district and session court and is currently pending for appearance of one Suil Kumar Sinha,” was how the SC judge had said, while inaugurating e-Seva Kendra at Patna high court and civil courts in March last year.

According to a report of National Judicial Data Grid, more than 33.91 lakh cases are currently pending in various courts of Bihar. Of them, over 29.04 lakh are criminal cases and 4,86,651 are civil cases.

National Judicial Data Grid report further states that a maximum of 8,32,926 cases (which come to 24.56 per cent of the total pending cases) have been pending for five to 10 years while 12,936 cases (0.38 per cent of the total pending cases) have been awaiting disposal for 30 years or more in various courts of Bihar.

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